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What is an OKR? Ultimate Guide and Definition of Objectives and Key Results

ultimate guide to OKRs
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What is an OKRs?

OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. It is an effective and proven goal-setting framework. OKRs are successfully used by some leading organizations in the world. With the ever-changing business landscape, it is important to have short-term goals that are agile and adapt to business changes.

OKR consists of “Objective” which defines the “what” we need to achieve and “How” we can achieve our what. OKRs framework consists of a few rules and a set of practices that help us to define and track OKRs. OKRs create alignment and focus which enable employees to prioritize. It transforms the culture of an organization from measuring output to outcomes

History of OKRs

history of okr

Though OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. are a new norm today and much spoken after 2010, its history is traced back to 1954. Peter Drucker, Father of management, invented MBO(Management by objectives)
Later in 1968, Andy Grove while co-founding Intel developed MBO further and called as iMBO, which is the current OKR framework. When John Doerr joined Intel he learned about OKRs and was later introduced to Google around 1999 when the Google team was just 40 and they continue to use it till today.

Grove says: “A successful MBO system needs only to answer two questions:

• Where do I want to go? (The answer provides the Objective)
• How will I pace myself to see if I’m getting there? (this gives milestones / key results)

The second question is the key that made OKRs emerge.

John Doerr joined Intel in 1974, where he practically worked along with Ducker and with OKRs Later he introduced OKR to Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and they implemented OKRs at Google. Today most organizations follow OKR to ensure strategy execution, OKRs are Swiss army knives suited for all-purpose and cultures.

Benefits of OKR


Keep OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. simple to make others understand them. Keeping 3 to 5 objectives makes it highly focused and helps prioritize goals. It also saves time and maintains focus on plans and execution. There is no room for procrastination this way, and one achieves goals in an organized and focused manner.


The main reason organizations opt for OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. is alignment, it makes teams travel in a highly aligned way and eliminates silos. Using shared OKRs enhances teamwork and improves collaboration between teams and boosts engagement. Even in is not working in a shared objective it still is possible to get aligned to the bigger overarching objective, more importantly, it makes sure that everybody is on the same journey to achieve the overall goals.


OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. tracks progress and make progress accessible to team members. This enables awareness and ensures consistency. Since alignment is ensured and everyone is traveling in the same direction and with transparency, it helps to share experiences and support team members to travel that extra mile.

Effective Communication

Since there is a give-and-take feedback system, there is always room for development. It encourages to discuss problems and solutions as well. Hence, participation among teams as well as individuals increases along with improved decision-making. Overall, it allows the organization to be built on trust and learning.


Schedules and resources can be adjusted by individuals. They can hand-pick the ways of achieving their OKRs. This motivates employees to achieve their goals both qualitatively and quantitatively.


The very important factor of OKR (or) Objectives and Key Results. is “Stretching”. OKRs allow you to stretch and think out of the box. This makes your moon shot objectives achievable. OKRs challenge organizations to create more aspirational objectives and strive further.

When all the previous said points are implem